Coral Gables Dogs and their Owners

Each year we present a portfolio of Coral Gables dogs and their owners, from all walks of life. What follows are six portraits.


Rescue dog, shepherd mix, 5 years 
The Owner Marcos Segrera, Evensky & Katz/Foldes Financial 

Dog Story: “We found him [as a puppy] in a box at a gas station,” says Segrera. “It was my wife that found him, but I’ll take the credit.” The Segrera family also owns a Golden Retriever and has a running joke that Moglie will have to go because he is not equally perfect. “This upsets my son Carlos, who loves him,” says Marcos. “Moglie is endearing with his personality.” That personality includes his habit of barking from the pool until you throw him his toy. “Once he gets it, he will take it to some out-of-the-way place where he wants you to pick it up – and throw it back to him… he’s no retriever!”


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, 5 years 
The Owner Lani Kahn Drody, Lowell International Realty 

Dogs and their Owners

Dog Story: “Between my husband and two teenage sons, I live in a household of boys, so I needed some femininity in the home,” says Drody, who adopted Maggie as a puppy. “Now I have my girl. I enjoy brushing her hair and dressing her up.” As for discipline, says Drody, “We kind of let her get away with murder because she is so sweet. She sleeps between our heads at night and puts her rear end up against the headboard.” Oddest behavior: “She hops up and takes a nap on the dinner table, while we are actually eating.” 

Julio Pickles 

Yellow Lab, 4 years 
The Owners Heidi and Shane Battier (yes, the ex-Miami Heat star) 

Dogs and their Owners

Dog Story: “All of our dogs have been rescue dogs,” says Heidi, but when an old friend in California said she would train a puppy for them, “We took her up on it.” Of course, Heidi admits, “We promptly undid some of his training when he got home.” As for quirks, “We refer to him as the mayor of our street. If you leave the door open, he kind of meanders out. If a neighbor’s door is open, he will walk inside,” she says. “I can’t tell you how many times on the [the neighborhood app] someone asks, ‘Does anyone know whose dog this is?’ Someone else will answer, ‘Just take him down to the Battier house.”


Golden Doodle, 5 months 
The Owner Alirio Torrealba, MG Developer

Alirio Torrealba with Benz

Dog Story “Talking with a friend about how our kids were going off to college, I decided that getting Benz would be a good idea because it brings back that feeling of having a newborn,” says Torrealba, who adopted Benz at birth. A car enthusiast, he named the dog after his vintage Mercedes Benz. After their morning walks, Torrealba plays with Benz in the backyard before starting his workday. “It reminds me of the attention my kids needed when they were little.” Unlike his kids, however, Benz will bring him a ball on command. Torrealba’s friend, meanwhile, adopted the only other puppy in the litter, a girl he named Mercedes. Expect play dates.

Gabby & Codie 

Greyhounds, 6 (Gabby); 81⁄2 (Codie) 
The Owner Rhonda Anderson, City Commissioner, attorney 

Rhonda Anderson and her dogs

Dog Story: Anderson, who helped make it illegal to race greyhounds in Florida, had already adopted two of the abused canines. “I looked for rescue [organizations] and found one called Friends of Greyhounds, which is now closed because the racetracks are closed,” she says. An empty nester, Anderson says: “These are not dogs I would adopt for young children. They are too big. They get excited and when they wag their tails it’s like a little whip.” Between their bony elbows and body heat, Anderson says she won’t let them sleep on the bed. “They have dreams at night of racing. They are running with a whimper, chasing a ball or a rabbit.” 


Labradoodle, 3 years 
The Owner Cocó D’Ascola, Cocó Interior Design 

Dogs and their Owners

Dog Story: “Both my husband and I are dog people, but this is our first since having children,” says D’Ascola, and with a very special twist. D’Ascola’s 12-year-old son Santiago suffers from epilepsy (he attends Crystal Academy), and Moxie was trained from puppyhood to be his service dog. “We knew that labradoodles were a good breed for this kind of service,” she says, “but it was very expensive to train her.” The D’Ascola family used GoFundMe to help defray the expense, and now Moxie “has her own bank account.” Among the training: “She know how to speak when [Santiago] is down, and how to get the seizure medicine… she is awesome.”